Bill 205 2002
An Act to control graffiti
on public and private property
and advertising signs
on public property
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Definitions and application
1. (1) In this Act,
"advertising sign" means any device, structure or medium that uses any colour, form, graphic, illumination, symbol or writing to advertise or promote a business, product or service; ("panneau publicitaire")
"graffiti" includes any design, drawing or writing scratched, scribbled or applied by any means to or on any surface; ("graffiti")
"Minister" means the member of the Executive Council to whom the administration of this Act is assigned under the Executive Council Act; ("ministre")
"public property" means property owned or under the control of the Province or a municipality or an agency, board or commission of the Province or a municipality and includes public highways and public utility poles, whether the poles are owned or under the control of the Province or a municipality; ("bien public")
"public utility pole" means a pole owned or controlled by an entity that provides a municipal or public utility, including a municipality, an entity that provides telephone services, an entity that provides natural gas and an entity that provides hydro-electric power or by a subsidiary of such an entity. ("poteau des services publics")
(2) This Act applies,
(a) in respect of any graffiti on public or private property; and
(b) in respect of any advertising sign on public property.
2. (1) No person shall apply or otherwise affix graffiti to any public or private property, except with the permission of the owner of the property.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.
Onus of proof
(3) In the case of a prosecution under subsection (2), a person who is charged with an offence has the onus of proving that the owner of the property gave permission to the person to apply or otherwise affix the graffiti to the property.
3. (1) No person shall erect, attach, place or display an advertising sign to or on public property except as may be permitted by regulation made under this Act.
Direction to remove
(2) If an advertising sign is displayed contrary to subsection (1), the Minister may authorize a person to do whatever is necessary to remove the sign.
No liability for damages
(3) An authorization under subsection (2) is authority to the person named in it to remove the sign as directed and neither the Minister nor that person is liable for any damages that may be caused in effecting the removal.
Costs of removal
(4) The Minister may charge any costs incurred in the removal of a sign under subsection (2) to the owner of the sign or, if the Minister is unable to ascertain who the owner is, to the person on whose behalf the sign is displayed.
Debt owing to the Crown
(5) An amount owing to Ontario by a person as the result of a charge for costs under subsection (4) is a debt owing to the Crown in right of Ontario and may be recovered by any remedy or procedure available to the Crown by law.
(6) Any person who engages in the practice of erecting, attaching, placing or displaying advertising signs to or on public property in contravention of subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.
4. Despite section 14 of the Municipal Act, 2001, if there is a conflict between this Act and a by-law of a municipality, the by-law of the municipality prevails to the extent that the by-law places stricter controls on the applying or affixing of graffiti to public and private property or the erecting, attaching, placing or displaying of advertising signs to or on public property.
5. The Minister may make regulations in respect of the erecting, attaching, placing or displaying of advertising signs to or on public property.
6. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
7. The short title of this Act is the Graffiti and Advertising Signs Control Act, 2002.
The Bill prohibits applying or affixing graffiti to any public or private property and prohibits erecting or attaching advertising signs to public property. If a municipality enacts a by-law in respect of the control of graffiti and advertising signs, insofar as the by-law is more stringent, the by-law prevails over the Bill.